Eight signs of spring that make me smile

Can you separate the concepts of spring and happiness? I can’t. Every year when spring finally (finally!) arrives, both my mood and spirit lighten.

Maple, maple syrup

Can you separate the concepts of spring and happiness? I can’t. Every year when spring finally (finally!) arrives, both my mood and spirit lighten. So to celebrate this season, which officially launches tomorrow, here are eight spring signs that make me smile.

1. My backyard ice rink: This time of year my yard chanes from a skating rink to a very shallow swimming pool that is no longer freezing over. And suited up in their best raingear, it’s a fun place for the kids to splash around in and dump the remaining snow from our yard into. (Sorry kids, we’re not keeping it as a swimming pool, despite your best arguments.)

2. My running gear gets lighter: Bye bye winter running gloves, hat and thermal exterior running jacket. Hello cropped pants and short sleeved-t-shirts. I may even treat myself to a new pair of Saucony running shoes soon, since mine are decorated with the remains of snowdrifts, slush and mud.

3. New spring fruit: In our house, the fruit we buy over winter tends to be what’s best priced and easily available, which means come February we’re done with bananas, pears, apples and oranges. Spring means grapes, nectarines and plums, and later, berries. Sure you can get this stuff year-round now, but have you tasted a winter grape or strawberry? Doesn’t exactly make the taste buds sing.  

4. Winter jackets go into storage: While we’re still in that “Do we need a winter jacket today? Spring jacket? Raincoat?” time of the year, I know that any day those bulky, wet winter coats, snow pants, scarves, hats, mitts and boots will soon get packed away. Ditto for the heavy sweaters.

5. Clearing out the lawn: Spring unfortunately tends to unearth all the garbage your lawn has collected under piles of snow over the winter. But with about 95 percent of my front yard free of snow, I’ve already filled a small garbage bag with my yard clean-up, and three-quarters of a yard waste bag pulling out dead leaves and branches. And there’s green underneath!

6. Planning our trip to the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival: Admittedly, every year we’ve gone it’s been muddy, windy, sometimes snowy, chilly…that said, the fact that we’re at the event eating pancakes with syrup and climbing onto a wagon ride that takes us through the woods is my sign of spring.

7. Laundry hanging on the line: It’s not something I actually do, but one of my backyard neighbours does it and I love it. Some people are fussy about this kind of thing — to me, it makes me think back to when I was a kid and hung laundry with, or for, my mom in our backyard during spring through to October. Really, it puts a smell into your laundry that you can’t replicate.

8. Windows open: In the spring, it’s one of the first things I do every morning: go around the house and open up windows. After being holed up in our house over winter, the mere fact that I can throw them open and let my house breathe again is a sure spring sign.

Have any of your signs of spring to share?